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Naloxone Prescriptions Double, High-dose Opioid Prescriptions Fall

Thursday, August 29, 2019


From 2017 to 2018, naloxone prescriptions doubled while high-dose opioid prescriptions went from 48 million to 38 million

Prescriptions for naloxone, a medication that has the life-saving ability to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, increased 106% from 2017 to 2018, while high-dose opioid prescriptions over the same time period declined, from 48 million to 38 million, a decrease of 21%. Many states allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. CDC's Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain - United States, 2016 recommend co-prescribing naloxone to patients who are prescribed high opioid dosages.

Both developments are positive signs that efforts to stem opioid distribution through pharmacies are having a dramatic impact, perhaps driven by initiatives like that of the Surgeon General's Facing Addiction in America. 

Read more about Life Saving Naloxone from Pharmacies in CDC's Vital Signs, as featured in the August 6, 2019 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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